cold toes, warm other things

Once again, I have been chastised for writing so little. And I deserve it, for someone who claims to love writing I hardly do enough of it.

When this much time has passed it's hard to extract a clear thought from my brain-scramble. I am starting to like lists more and more, and therefore will begin a random list of thoughts and experiences from the past while.

  • The Ingrate. Whether it's the change of surrounding, or the breathing space from things that previously saturated my life and thoughts, I feel as though I have the clearest perspective I have had in some time, maybe ever. I am learning things that I wished I already knew. Gratitude. Humility. Self-control. Now if it were possible for me to simply learn something and never again return to ways of old, wouldn't that be wonderful? Not so. It seems I can even learn something and unlearn it in the same thought, having never translated learning to action or obedience.
  • What Kind of Christian Am I? Swimming my way through a school project and Bibles and books, and realizing more and more I am the sorriest excuse of a Christian there ever was. My reasons for thinking this are many and long for elaborating here, but an illustration could do: Bill Murray, as a neurotic obsessive compulsive in What About Bob?, eventually succeeds in driving his psychiatrist and mentor insane while in "baby step" therapy. I have a billion baby steps ahead of me, and thank God he is a patient, willing, and never-irritable guide. Because I think I would drive myself insane.
  • Stockholm. Martin and I spent a few days in the Swedish capital, spending our nights in an old hotel of vaulted ceilings and white French doors, the city bustle sneaking in through the old wood. We walked, spent a lot of time talking, some eating, reading, watching, touring, and hardly any shopping. The city seemed filled with more tourists than Swedes -- and in the old town, more rich Russians than anyone. From Holsbybrunn to Stockholm felt like stepping, or falling, on a 50 km/h treadmill from a dead-standstill. It stirred up strange feelings and meaningful conversations, along with sensory overload... The electronic rattle of crosswalks, honking, boom of the bass in nightclubs, the flash of digital billboards, slick, uneven cobblestones, the babble of languages more foreign than Swedish, long nails, fur, and bleach-blond heads, hurrying up to wait, juggling multiple cellphones, mostly manufactured beauty and mostly meaningless contact.
  • An Ugly Girl? I have been spending some thought on what a healthy Christian worldview means, how I could live a "simpler" life. Also thinking about our collective insecurity in the Western world -- the way we look. I was recently amazed to hear that hair care products is a multi-billion dollar industry. Enough to eliminate the debt of at least a few developing countries. I don't know why I hadn't before considered how much money goes into hair care, but there it was. Interestingly, the average North American woman apparently has at least five unused hair care products sitting around her bathroom. And yet, an overwhelming majority of women are very insecure about their looks. The majority of girls I attend school with this year have admitted their insecurities with their looks. And these would be some of the more solid, mature girls I have met of the 18-25 range. It's so incredibly sad! Here we are, with a faith that a living God created us in his image, with a creed that says "it's the heart that matters," and yet we are insecure! We care about breasts and butts and 'cankles' and grey hair. I am right there in it, and yet it frustrates and befuddles me.
  • On Loving Your Husband. It's 11 p.m. on a Thursday night, and Martin is bringing cheeseburgers from McDonalds. It's a taste of familiarity I cannot turn down, and I love him for it. For many other things too, and these days, the feelings of love are more present than ever. This is a nice thing, a wonderful thing. It makes me happy.  Not only for cheeseburgers, but his sweet face on the pillow, or the gleam in his eye after reffing a good game of innebandy, or that strange weird smile when he is telling me bad news. Definitely enjoying marriage.